Student Research Project: Reika Shimomura’s “College Students’ Perception of COVID-19 Emergency Response on Campus – Delphi Study on Duke Kunshan University Students Class of 2022 to 2025”

REIKA SHIMOMURA is one of the nine winners of 2022 Freedom Lab’s Shirley Graham and W.E.B Du Bois Award.

Her research project is highlighted below. Read other student researcher’s projects here >>

Supported by Professor Daniel Weissglass

Project title:
College Students’ Perception of COVID-19 Emergency Response on Campus – Delphi Study on Duke Kunshan University Students Class of 2022 to 2025

Project summary:
Students or the members of an institution are placed in a disadvantaged position in the situations of infectious diseases’ emergency response and interventions. In this study, the ethical issues regarding the power dynamics of the relationship between the institution and the members of the institution are addressed. This study will give an opportunity for the voices of the members to be heard by the upper-level decision makers of the institution and have actionable content that can be considered in future emergency-related policies.

Interests in this topic:
In my previous research, I worked on the ethical implications of digital contact tracing apps by evaluating the privacy policies of the apps. (Greig EE, Shimomura RG. An evaluation of privacy policies used in digital contact tracing apps for COVID-19. J Public Health Emerg 2022.) This leads me to have an interest in further working on research that can help address the concerns that communities may have regarding their privacy and other ethical perspectives. As DKU was placed in a unique situation under pandemics with students located on-campus and off-campus, I wanted to make this research to serve the community by interviewing students and highlighting the results that can be taken into consideration by the decision-makers.

Current stage:
The current stage is applying for IRB approval in order to conduct the first round of interviews in this Delphi Study. I hope to do several rounds of interviews or surveys to come to a consensus on the students’ perception of the COVID-19 intervention on campus. In the end, I hope to share the findings as a research paper that can be published and shared with the administrators of the university through a presentation. It would be wonderful to share my findings at a conference as well, if given the opportunity, so I can hear from other universities as well.


Reika Shimomura

Reika is an undergraduate student (Class of 2023) at Duke Kunshan University (DKU) pursuing a dual degree at DKU and Duke University. Her major is Global Health with a concentration in Biology, and currently working on chemistry education research along with this global health ethics research. Previously she finished a project at HHL, “Student-led Public Health Ethics Research Project” with Erin Elizabeth Greig. She is passionate about education and co-founded MediHealth Podcast under HHL, a student-led science podcast.